Warning: Major spleen vent on deck. Indulge the rantings of a depressed American, or skip this post.
Keep thinking I need — or want — to get everything off my chest at once re: Bush’s 2nd term, to somehow convey all the multiple levels and layers of my incomprehension at the result. But every time I start, the thoughts tumble too quickly to be corralled, and I just don’t have an essay in me tonight.
Seriously, America — How much harm would Bush have to do to our nation for you to evict him from office? Would he have to personally come to your house, open up your septic tank with a Bradley and dump half a ton of uranium into your swimming pool? Would he have to steal directly from your bank account, rather than from your children’s? Condemn your kids to be educated in public schools in the projects? Wiretap every room in your house? Become convinced that you were hiding a secret cache of dangerous weapons, destroy your home over it, then not apologize or even admit wrongdoing (and tell you he’d do the same thing all over again)? Let a bunch of frat boys high on hatred attach electrodes to your father’s testicles? Would he have to assemble an inner cabinet of serial killers, rather than mere criminals? Would he have to corrupt every branch of government (and your city council too) with high-finance cronies? Would he have to drive unemployment to 70%? Eliminate Medicare? Undo the New Deal altogether? Just how many debates would he have to lose before you became convinced he wasn’t the right man for the job? Would he have to amend the Constitution to specify that marriage is only allowed between members of the same sex? Only allowed between armadillos and umbrellas? Would he have to ignore every piece of advice given to him by experts, rather than just most? How absurd does it have to get? How many countries would have to hate us over his policies? How much international good will would he have to squander? Would the U.N. have to kick us out altogether? Would Canada and Europe have to embargo the U.S. before you understood how low our standing is in the world today? What would it take, America? You seem to like being punished by your leaders — just how badly do you want more of this humiliation? Apparently, quite a lot.
Yeah, it’s all radical hyperbole, but seriously. I usually try to maintain some sense of patriotism, even though our administration shames us daily. But an election result like this makes it so much harder to be patriotic. I want to be proud to be an American. I find myself having to look deeper and harder to find things to be proud of. We’re in a bad way.
And then we hear that “moral values” was the highest criteria among voters when making their choice. Moral values? In what universe could Bush be considered a “moral” leader? How can you consider our president, who is opposed to gay marriage, who values American lives higher than Iraqi lives, who steals from the future to give to the rich, etc. to have high moral values? And where exactly are the moral blemishes on Kerry’s record?
Look on the bright side. Air America is just getting good, and a 2nd term guarantees they won’t be running out of material anytime soon. Same for Jon Stewart. More importantly, a 2nd term will allow plenty of time for the full effects of this administration’s policies to take hold. We’ll see whether people are still committed to self-destruction in 2008.
Some inspiring/inspired notes in Boing-Boing’s Kerry Concedes post.
P.S. Why does this map of average education levels look so much like the 2004 electoral college distribution? Draw your own conclusions.
25 Replies to “Give ‘Em Enough Rope”
Condemn your kids to be educated in public schools in the projects?
Which basically says, “Condemn your kids to public education in public housing?”
These are the two social areas in which the government has really gotten involved. Look at them. You want to turn health care over to these same bozos?
Social Security is bankrupt. Our generation probably will not see a dime. Candidates pander to elderly voters that still believe the system works, because it works for them. But it doesn’t work.
Anything the government touches turns into a self-serving, red-tape, low-quality quagmire. Keep them out of health care, please. And let’s start getting them out of education and housing, too.
social security is not bankrupt. that’s utter b.s. – it is running a surplus based on the reforms in the ’80s. greenspan did a total bait-and-switch on us (google “greenspan” and “cheap-suit hustler” together) when he warned about the surplus growing too big (it was s.s. solvency masking the actual budget) and supported bush giving away the money raised on the backs of regressively taxed (capped) income to bzillionaires.
simple fixes will keep s.s. going forever. it’s medicare that is flirting with insolvency.
i’m sick of this shit.
if any of this is true: http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won.php , then one has to wonder if kerry/edwards are doing the “right thing” for the party — i.e. not going after the accurate counting of votes because they know that 2008 would then go to the republicans, while allowing another 4 bush years will galvanise the country to get rid of bush with a passion because by then the dems might be able to come up with a positive alternative (pundits say hilary, i would hope for obama, col thinks obama will be there in 2016 but not sooner). (my comments from the oither day i now eat with salt and pepper. not having someone to vote FOR this election is what gave us such a turnout)
however i also sympathize w/ mnep re: gubmint efficacy (or lack of it). however i’d rather get candidates who can make some of these existing systems work. call me elitist, but if you privatize education without govt oversite then you run the risk of having all those kids in the south graduating thinking that the world was created in 7 days. (which for the record doesn’t bother me if they are taught other alternatives – oh, say evolution -as well)
here’s the problem with privatization: corporations. and a brand of capitalism that measures wealth only in dollars (or maybe i should say only on a quarterly basis… because other kinds of capital do eventually end up on the bottom line…but maybe not always on the right entity’s ledger).
ok. i should write more on that, but can’t write now. here’s my wish for a better america: more corporate regulation (they have too much power and not enough accountabilty) and a reform of the media so that they report on relevant issues adn tell the truth.
sorry for the ramble.
>Why does this map of average education levels look so much like the 2004 electoral college distribution? Draw your own conclusions.
A mere reflection of the fact that institutions of higher education are largely biased to the left. The longer you bash people over the head with fear of free markets and faith in government, the more likely they are to believe it.
Travis – A simple explanation might be that the more you learn about the world and government, the more exposed to information you are, the more transparent politics becomes to you.
I mean here we have a direct correlation between education and political affiliation. Less educated people vote right, more educated people vote left. Are you suggesting that people with less education somehow see reality more clearly?
social security is not bankrupt. that’s utter b.s.
Myth 3: The Social Security system is bankrupt
Due to anticipated demographic developments, at some time in the future Social Security benefits will exceed revenues from the payroll tax. This means that benefits will have to be cut or postponed, or that the difference will have to be made up from federal tax revenues, or both. The federal government can’t go bankrupt like an individual or company. It must meet its obligations, and it will do so. Additionally, dire predictions abut the insolvency of the system fail to consider the possibility of immigration or another “baby boom” increasing the number of wage earners in future years, or the effect of an increasingly productive economy.
Source – http://www.elderlawanswers.com/resources/s8/r33570.asp
OK, “The federal government can’t go bankrupt like an individual or company. It must meet its obligations, and it will do so.” They don’t offer any model for how this will be done. All they say is “it will do so.” How? Increased taxes? Benefit cuts? A magical pixie?
Maybe the magical pixie is the influx of immigrants or another baby boom?
Social Security is going to fail without a massive overhaul. Period.
…and a mere reflection that those who can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag apparently voted for bush. (ok. i’m being mean. i know that there is no neccesary correlation between edumacation and intelligence. yet you have to really leave your intelligence somewhere else to support bush. btw – free markets and small gov’t? not with bush. more like rigged markets and increasing gov’t expenditures.)
also re: free markets and faith in gov’t, well…. it’s the government (we the people) who extend economic freedom to the market in the first place, so you’d better have some faith in it. but current market forces if left to their own devices will not result in the ability for a free market. because for that you need competition. and more and more we are witnessing mega corporations systematically ensure that competition disappears.
You should really be thankful that you had access to a good education. That education enabled you to obtain a well-paying job that allows you to purchase a home in a very expensive part of the country. Living where you do provides you access to wonderful cultural activities.
These people living in middle and southern US most likely don’t live you or me. They are poor and uneducated. They probably make minimum wage and live in a shack. Their cultural activity is attending church functions. The only thing they have positive in their life is their faith. And they hope that their faith will get them out of their situation. So if their priest or pastor tells them that they should vote for Bush because he is a Christian they will probably vote for him.
They don’t have the education to make a decision on healthcare or education or the corporate raping of America. They can only relate to anti-abortion, marriage betweeen a man and a woman, and ban against stem cell research. It’s a part of their faith.
I don’t consider myself a religious person. I do have the ability to put myself in someone else’s shoes to understand the choices they make. Everyone of us is a unique individual with unique circumstances. And everyone has a right to their opinion whether we agree with it or not. We can’t force our views on other people.
I believe it is important to have differing views in our world. First, it would be pretty boring. Second, how would we know if our opinion is correct without comparing it to a different opinion? How do we know hot is hot without knowing cold? How do we know something is good without knowing evil?
It’s easy to sit and write about how misinformed these people are that voted for Bush. Why not go and find out why they did that? Take a vacation in middle American instead of the Bahamas. Go volunteer in a poor section of your town.
An interesting blurb by Andrew Leonard on Salon.com about why liberals are taking the election loss so personally.
In Attic Greece, pederasty was considered normal. Socrates himself had a sexual relationship with Anytus’ son.
No one here is going to claim to be more intelligent than Socrates (I hope).
But almost all of us will agree that sex with children is wrong. So, have we slid backwards? Have we become more Puritanical in our definitions of sex? Homosexuality was considered normal in Attic Greece, and we’re slowly becoming accustomed to the fact that it really is OK. Are we less educated and enlightened if we also stop seeing a taboo on sex with children?
I’m not proposing that we do. But I also will not consider myself “more enlightened” or “more educated” just because I went to school longer, or got X degree from Y university or have Z opinions on sex.
Academia has great benefit, and great pitfalls. One of the main pitfalls being succumbing to the notion that “because I have more education than you, and am smarter than you, my opinion carries more weight, and is correct de facto.” After all, if you believe that raw intelligence and education is the final barometer of right opinion, take a cue from Socrates and get yourself a 12 year old boy lover.
We say “how can you foster hatred of homosexuals by denying them basic rights?” Socrates might well say the same about pederasty.
Just throwing that out there. Make of it what you will.
gattaca – Loved the Salon piece. And I know he’s right about the point that Google is great at finding the answers you want to find (i.e. the Google user (me) can use the tool to support any position). Well, that’s just the way humans are – we’ve always been inclined to sift for the things that support our worldview, even before Google. It’s just easier now.
Is this an echo chamber? For the most part (although the echoes don’t ring as loudly when we have disagreeing voices, as we often do). I don’t mind that it’s an echo chamber. This isn’t a news site, it’s a picture of the inside of my head. I’m not trying to be fair and balanced. And I don’t think it would be as enjoyable to write (or read) if it were.
As to my education, damn right I’m lucky. But maybe not as lucky as you might think. I went to mediocre California public schools and didn’t pay attention. The things I don’t know, if I admitted it, would frighten most of my educated friends. It sure frightens me. My parents didn’t put away money for my college education, and it was never discussed. When I decided I wanted to go to college, we did it all on grants and loans. Thanks to the partially publically supported UC system, I was able to have a decent higher ed experience (although I still didn’t take any history or politics classes). What I know about politics I’ve mostly learned in the past few years — it took the Bush administration to get me interested (I guess I have Bushco to thank for that at least).
If I’ve been privileged in comparison to poor Southerners, the privilege is that I was lucky enough to have stimulating parents (neither of whom went to college) and to hook up with smart friends, who steered me in interesting directions.
Back to Alabama: I don’t need to visit the South to know that they get their political direction from their pastor. But if you’re poor and your education system sucks, common sense dictates that you don’t vote for a candidate who is making those things worse, not better. Even if you don’t have a good education, or higher education, you can still be intelligent and still have common sense. And because a vote for Bush coming from a person living in a less-privileged region doesn’t make much logical sense (moral values votes aside), we have to conclude that the campaign machine and the Fox News machine have peddled their propaganda well enough to encourage people to vote for candidates who are bad for them.
My point in drawing a correlation between education and voting patterns is not to paint anybody as stupid, but to say, “Look — the Bush message sells to the less educated — isn’t that a problem?” and by proxy, “Maybe the left needs to spend more energy running counterspin (i.e. pitching common sense) in the midwest and south.”
> These are the two social areas in which the government has really gotten involved. Look at them. You want to turn health care over to these same bozos?
mnep: America’s public schools were once great – among the best in the world. Now they’re among the worst. And because we know they were once great (while being government run), we know that government isn’t the reason (or not the only reason, if you prefer) that education is deteriorating. I’d rather fix public education, thereby making sure that everyone has a fair shot at a good education, than privatize, thereby virtually guaranteeing that the poor get worse education. Why drive that kind of wedge into America? The delta between rich and poor, good education and bad, is wide enough already. Why make it worse? Let’s fix the system and level the playing field. We can start by paying teachers as much as other trained professionals, if not more, so that sharp people actually *seek out* teaching positions rather than heading straight for the corporate world.
>We can start by paying teachers as much as other trained professionals, if not more, so that sharp people actually *seek out* teaching positions rather than heading straight for the corporate world.http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/86/mccain.html
>I mean here we have a direct correlation between education and political affiliation. Less educated people vote right, more educated people vote left. Are you suggesting that people with less education somehow see reality more clearly?
First, it is a mistake to confuse correlation with causation – there are just too many variables to make the leap you are suggesting. Ignoring that, and assuming that there is a causal relationship between college completion and party affiliation (which I actually think is likely), it begs the question to assume that voting Democrat is the intelligent thing to do. That is an argument you haven’t made here. As I think someone else pointed out, it is a mistake to confuse education with intellectual capacity. It seems that you discount life experience as a sound method of learning. My experience has shown quite the opposite. I’ve found that people whose world views have been shaped in the confines of college campuses have very little useful world experience and, in fact, have quite an unrealistic set of expectations about life.
None of this should be taken as an endorsement of ignorance – I love school and will probably never leave the University entirely behind. I am simply making note of my own observation that campuses are a far cry from the centers of intellectual prowess you seem to envision. Rather, there is a ridiculous amount of simplicity and narrow-mindedness of thought. Most college students (and faculty, for that matter) seem to form their politcal opinions based on the reports of popular corporate media and the opinions of their peers, just like the folks in the Midwest.
>also re: free markets and faith in gov’t, well…. it’s the government (we the people) who extend economic freedom to the market in the first place, so you’d better have some faith in it.
Wow. I really disagree with this notion of government “extending” economic freedom. We are all, each of us, born free – government tends only to restrict that freedom, not extend it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quite ready to suggest anarchy – I just find it mildly terrifying that anyone actually sees the government as the source of liberty (or anything else).
>but current market forces if left to their own devices will not result in the ability for a free market. because for that you need competition. and more and more we are witnessing mega corporations systematically ensure that competition disappears.
I’m confused by the idea that if you leave a market free it will somehow become unfree. Further, competition is not really required for a free market. What is required is free, willing participants. While I agree that our current market system has flaws, I’d suggest that the problem is too little freedom. What prevents most small businesses from even getting off the ground is not the competion of larger companies (though this can be a problem), it is usually the mountain of bureaucratic red tape (licensing fees, business fees, wage restrictions, etc). It’s amazing our economy is as strong as it is.
Of course, a market should not just be free from regulation, it should be free from assistance. If the gov’t were to stop propping up select corporations (exclusive contracts, gov’t sanctioned and managed monopolies, corporate welfare, tariffs, military support, etc, etc) there would be no “mega corporations.” These monsters of business are not the result of “economies of scale” but, rather, they are the result of “economies of influence”. The kind of predatory behavior that I’m sure you’re interested in preventing is actually made possible through the sanction of gov’t. What we really need is to get gov’t entirely out of business – no gov’t sanctioned corporate personhood, no gov’t managed industry, no gov’t official deciding who invented what before whom, no gov’t inteference at all.
Again, I’m not advocating some sort of caveman club-fight. There must be laws that serve only one purpose – protection of each individual’s right to pursue peaceful endeavors. There is only one fundamental moral imperative – to not initiate force against another (where force includes fraud, threat, intimidation, etc). Stick with that and the government becomes a very small player – as it should be. Any examination of history reveals the terrible crimes that have been committed by state against the individual (even worse when the gov’t is sanction by religion).
By the way, if it’s not at all obvious I’m very much a Libertarian.
> it begs the question to assume that voting Democrat is the intelligent thing to do.
I didn’t mean to imply that as much as to say that if you’re poor and your education system blows and your environment is being spoiled and so on, it doesn’t make much sense to vote for Bush. Although, yes, in general, Democrats do a better job of serving the common man. But I was really taking about how it makes more sense to remove a specific cause of sorrow and pain (Bush) than it does to reward it (him).
> As I think someone else pointed out, it is a mistake to confuse education with intellectual capacity.
I don’t confuse those two. In fact, I said above: “Even if you don’t have a good education, or higher education, you can still be intelligent and still have common sense.”
> I’ve found that people whose world views have been shaped in the confines of college campuses have very little useful world experience
I agree with you on that. But they still know more about the world, it’s countries, its machinations, its politics…
> I just find it mildly terrifying that anyone actually sees the government as the source of liberty
Speaking relativistically, our government guarantees us many liberties that are not available in more oppressive societies (although we see those liberties eroding daily at the hands of Ashcroft and Co.) I don’t buy the notion that smaller government necessarily equates to more freedom. When government cedes responsibility the responsibility of guaranteeing freedoms, agressive individuals and groups will sweep in to take control, and likely won’t leave us as any freer.
> is usually the mountain of bureaucratic red tape
I agree that it’s way too hard to run a small business, but remove all the red tape and it’s still impossible to start an operating system company in this country (ask any of the BeOS fanatics who hang out here) because MS has the market collared. It’s impossible to start a coffee shop in a neighborhood that Starbucks has decided to inhabit. And that has nothing to do with red tape, everything to do with free markets running out of control without sufficient restrictions to guarantee a level playing field for all comers. It’s as if you’re suggesting that athletes should be allowed to take all the steroids they want, even if they become 50 feet tall.
> no gov’t sanctioned corporate personhood, no gov’t managed industry, no gov’t official deciding who invented what before whom, no gov’t inteference at all.
I like most of what you’re saying there, but removing govt from business isn’t going to fix the monopoly problem.
> By the way, if it’s not at all obvious I’m very much a Libertarian.
Don’t worry – it was perfectly obvious :)
> After all, if you believe that raw intelligence and education is the final barometer of right opinion,
I don’t, but certainly you would agree that it counts for a lot. When we need a problem solved in a field of which we lack much knowledge (computer, car, taxes, refrigerator repair, whatever) we turn to experts — people who have spent their careers studying those things. Education matters. It matters a great deal. Plato was on to something with the Philosopher King. Do we really want the country run by a person who has less education than the challenger, who can’t win a debate against him? Running a country is the most complex job almost any of us can imagine. Surely we want the most intelligent, most educated person we can find to take that job? But no- people like Bush’s down-home charm, his “regular guy” manner. I don’t want a “regular guy” running the country – I want a college-educated genius with integrity (and horse sense too).
Pederasty is not in question. Gay marriage is, and surely no one can argue that it’s moral to legislate against harmless preferences. Chocolate lovers? Sinners! We need a Constitutional amendment against them.
Depressing isn’t it. Keeps reminding me of the Thatcher years of the 1980s, I couldn’t believe I lived in a country full of people dumb enough to keep begging for more (at least Bush is constitutionally limited to two terms, but my experience has taught me that you can’t expect people to learn their lesson even after eight years of being shat upon). Yeah, this whole mess has also made me increasingly misanthropic.
BTW, some interesting thoughts on Freedom (and its commodification) and markets here: http://www.iotacism.com/guestbook/guestbook.php (start near the bottom and work your way up)
Scot: I’ve been wearing a tinfoil hat since wednesday. I’m seeing conspiracies everywhere; I’m freaked out by this.
However, I have to question the whole premise of this education vs. electoral college thing. I’m looking at that map and not even seeing what some of you seem to be pointing at. Look at Montana, Wyoming, Colorado… It seems to me that there’s almost no correlation here at all. Not even in the simplistic world of this map. Aside from that, I’ve always thought there was a decent correlation between inner cities and poor education, and another one between inner cities and the democratic party.
I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that there’s something other than intelligence or education at play here. There are plenty of intelligent, college educated republicans who support Bush.
Your point about “moral values,” though — that whole outcome of the polling knocked me completely on my ass. I think it’s just another case of language being twisted around; the people that say moral values were the highest priority must equate moral values with evangelical christian dogma. In fact I wonder what the media’s even using as data that indicates “moral values” was the highest priority on these peoples’ lists. Were voters who answered things like, “I’m against gay marriage,” and “I’m anti-abortion” tallied as having voted based on “moral values?” In that case once again the media needs to stop turning journalism into gibberish.
I also had a hard time seeing that much of a correlation until I viewed the election results by *county*
Being mindful, of course, that correlation is not causation. See Stephen Downes’ excellent site at:
under Causal Fallacies for add’l explanation. (Not that I ever got the idea that Scot was suggesting a direct, causal relationship here)
No, I’ve never suggested that there’s a causal relationship, only a correspondence. David, you’re right that that map illustrates the point a bit better than the one I provided.
When we need a problem solved in a field of which we lack much knowledge (computer, car, taxes, refrigerator repair, whatever) we turn to experts — people who have spent their careers studying those things.
You turn to me for computer help pretty regularly. I took one, exactly one, computer course. It was “Introduction to Computers” taken to fulfill a math requirement. At the time I took it, I was managing the computer resources of a research lab of 100 employees.
I have, in effect, no formal education in computers. It’s all in-the-trenches experience. And you seem to value my help.
Don’t sell experience short in favor of the classroom.
Gay marriage is, and surely no one can argue that it’s moral to legislate against harmless preferences.
Did you hear what I said? There are those people that DON’T think gay marriage is harmless. Just because you disagree because of your education, upbrigning, whatever (and I disagree, too) doesn’t mean we can dismiss those people as “wrong” or “ignorant” or “close-minded.” You’re sounding like Socrates discussing pederasty with Scot Hacker.
You’re not going to change many minds by calling them wrong or ignorant or close-minded. A lesson the Dems could well learn. Al Gore’s condescending, professorial tone turned a majority of Americans off, including me. Kerry is the richest Congressperson on the Hill and actively recruits the support of ivory tower liberals (and I don’t mean all liberals by that, nor all those in academia). And they fail. Time after time.
Because people don’t like to be called wrong and ignorant and close-minded.
The original map Scot linked to includes county data if you click on individual states; except the county data is shaded based on percentages going for each candidate. If you check out any of those states I mentioned, (Montana, Wyoming, Colarodo and maybe some others in that area,) you’ll see that there’s not a good correlation here, at all.
> You turn to me for computer help pretty regularly.
Your assistance is invaluable to me, mnep. I appreciate the consulting you’ve done with me over the past few days.
> I took one, exactly one, computer course
Me too – the shell scripting course I took a few months ago (and I start two back-to-back intensive Unix System Admininstration courses tomorrow, lasting the next ten weeks). And we’ve both had successful careers in computing. So I agree – there are lots of jobs one can learn to do well without formal training. But there’s no such thing as presidential training. I would choose a really experienced person over a genius with no political training in a heartbeat, of course. But given two people with a lot of political experience, I’ll take the smart one, all other things being equal. Of course all other things are not equal. It’s not *just* about training or intelligence. It’s about, as baald says, the outcome.
> Did you hear what I said?
Geez, snippy this morning! Please, mellow.
> doesn’t mean we can dismiss those people as “wrong” or “ignorant”
Wrong and ignorant are two completely different things. Smart people can be wrong. Ignorant people can be right. I don’t care if people are educated or not, smart or not — demanding segregated bathrooms for black people is wrong, and almost any definition of morality today accepts that, even though common morality certainly didn’t accept it 60 years ago. Denying gays the right to marry is morally wrong in exactly the same sense as racism is wrong. The only thing that makes it different is that homosexuality is banned with a strict interpretation of the Bible, so we veer into morality based on religious belief. But religious belief cannot be part of legislation. We have to look at homosexuality with a rational eye and face the reality that there is no harm in it, therefore it cannot be immoral from a non-religious POV.
I know you agree with me on this for the most part – I’m not saying the above to imply that you don’t, only to clarify my point that it IS morally wrong to deny homosexuals the right to marry, and I say that without any eye toward education, etc.
I certainly never got a vibe from Gore or Kerry that was condescending or ivory tower, but maybe I wasn’t watching for it.
Squub, David –
I was talking to a statistician/sociologist friend (a very accomplished grad student currently seeking tenure) the other night about this topic, and she said that the correspondence (not causation; I’ve never said that) between education level and political leaning (more education = more liberal and vice versa) is so long-standing, so entrenched, and so well-researched by sociologists that it’s pretty much held as axiomatic.
The only thing that makes it different is that homosexuality is banned with a strict interpretation of the Bible, so we veer into morality based on religious belief.
Funny thing about those Christians who profess a strict, literalistic interpretation of Scripture. A recent survey indicates that people who self-identify as Christians divorce at exactly the same rate as their more secular fellow citizens. When denominations with lower divorce rates are factored out (e.g. Roman Catholics), the rates for fundamentalist Protestants are actually higher than the average. (survey results seen in a brief article in the latest Atlantic Monthly).
Note that while the four books of the Gospel (which contain the central story of Jesus himself and are the only books of the Bible which quote Him directly) never mention gays or lesbians, they are very hard on divorce. The only acceptable reason cited is adultery – and even that doesn’t appear in all, four books. But when asked by the surveyors why this fact didn’t seem to influence “Christian divorce” today, the basic answer they received was that people didn’t believe or accept that part of Scripture any longer.
/me waits while that sinks in
So the fundamentalist hypocrites are perfectly willing to reinterpret or ignore the Bible when it’s convenient for them, but use it like a cudgel when it suits their socio-political agenda…